Final Temp for Brisket


New member
Aug 28, 2023
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calgary Canada
Pro 570
I notice that most Traeger recipes for Brisket suggest a final internal temperature of 205 F. The literature suggests that collagen breaks down between 160 and 180 F. So 180 F should be the end stage for tough materials in the brisket. Why do we let the brisket then go up to 205 F ? What am I missing by cooking those extra 25 F ?
The 200’ should only be a loose guideline. Probe tender is what you should be looking for. I did one today and wasn’t able to check it near the end of the cook. My Inkbird thermometer said it was 190’. So I wasn’t too worried, but when I got home and probed it, I knew it was done. And when I carved it I saw it was too tender. Hard to cut without falling apart. Luckily it still tasted great.
When you are cooking brisket, pork butts and ribs, you need to figure out what end point works best for you, whether it is by feel or by internal temperature. When cooking ribs, my wife wants them to be fall off the bone, so I go for 205F, but a competition rib-master would consider that overcooked. I shred or chop pulled pork, so I let it go to 203F. A brisket is too large for my needs, so I have not done one, but again, it depends on your preferences. Even at 165F, the meat is well done. Anything above that is done to further tenderize the meat. If you want to slice it, you do not want to get it too tender as it will just fall apart.
Once mine get to around 195 I start probing them and once they feel tender I take them off. Sometimes its 195, sometimes it's 205. Each piece of meat is different.

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